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Out of towner, $20-30 meals (or less!)

I'm making my first return to Toronto after 32 years. I'm not sure how many places are still open from then, but it doesn't really matter since I was 2 when we left. :-) I am looking forward to getting to know this city that I've got a tenuous connection to, so help me out with one of the most important things about any city. Where should I eat in the cheap to low-middle price range?

I'm from NYC and lived in CA for much of the past six years. I eat and enjoy almost anything. What do I really like? Mexican, Korean, Spanish, French, Indian, Middle Eastern, North African. So, yeah, anything, but are there particular cuisines/restaurants that Toronto is well know for? West Indian maybe? I'm not really interested in steak places, tasting menus, sushi (although Japanese would be great), or Italian.

What are the two or three places (not including high end) you'd go if you were about to leave town for the next 32 years?

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  1. Hey, jasmurph, welcome back! Just curious - have you done any searching or research on the board yet or are we starting from scratch?

    1 Reply
    1. re: JamieK

      I have done some research, but I'm running into the usual Chowhound problems when looking at a totally new city: lots of discussion of high end places and the difficulty that comes from jumping into the middle of a conversation in which you know none of the reference points.

    2. You really shouldn't have many problems fulfilling your requirements. You can find loads of more than adequate Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern food for *well* under $30 per person in Toronto. I probably wouldn't hold out much hope for French in that price range, but if you stick to the others, you won't be disappointed, I don't think. Searching around Chowhound for previous posts will reveal many good locations.

      4 Replies
      1. re: vorpal

        Thanks, Vorpal. Just to clarify, I wasn't so much asking for cuisines of those kinds as indicating the spectrums of flavor I enjoy. What 2 or 3 places do you frequent in that price range?

        1. re: jasmurph

          Sure! Toronto does Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean really well, but I can't eat it due to MSG sensitivity, so I suggest that you search around for suggestions for those styles. As for other cheap places, I really like Tokyo Grill on the west side of Yonge just north of Wellesley: good, incredibly cheap home-style Japanese cuisine. Don't go there expecting sushi, but instead good ramen, curries, etc. Ethiopian House (the street it's on eludes me) is great for Ethiopian food. For Indian, I love the restaurants on Baldwin street (Jodhpore and Gateways of India), although they may push the bounds of your budget depending on your appetite.

          1. re: vorpal

            Ethiopian house is on Irwin, which is a couple of streets north of Wellesley.
            www.ethiopianhouse.com
            I'm also a fan of Tokyo Grill, tasty ramen.

          2. re: jasmurph

            Oh! I also highly recommend Rashnaa on Wellesley just east of Parliament for amazing and very cheap Sri Lankan food!

        2. There are a whole slew of reasonably priced Ethiopian restaurants along the Danforth ranging from Jones over to Woodbine or so. One in particular gets good mentions on this board, here's a review of Dukem (a search will bring up further references) -
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/437770

          Also, for East Arican/Indian, Simba Grill on Donlands also gets favourable reviews, reasonably priced, here's a review -
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/427715
          http://www.simbagrill.ca/

          Across the street from Simba on Donlands is an unpretentious place called the Ritz Diner that serves good Filipino, very reasonably priced. Here's a review from the Toronto Star -
          http://www.thestar.com/article/199072

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          Ritz
          310 Donlands Ave, Toronto, ON M4J3R9, CA

          Dukem
          950 Danforth Ave, Toronto, ON M4J 1L9, CA

          Simba Grill
          375 Donlands Ave, Toronto, ON M4J3S2, CA

          1. My three places before leaving for three decades would be:
            Mother's Dumplings
            Little India
            Hair of the Dog

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            Little India
            255 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V1Z4, CA

            Hair Of The Dog
            425 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y2C3, CA

            Mother's Dumplings
            421 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON , CA

            1. Welcome back! The Golden Thai on Church (corner Richmond) and The Pomegranate Persian resto on College, near Bathurst. Both very reasonable priced. Great atmosphere included!!!